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The Porch: The Greatest Day of My Dad’s Life

September 29, 2020: I woke up earlier than normal for my then job. I felt so uneasy. I felt “off” and just not myself. I let my coworkers know that I would be using some leave time and I went back to sleep.

I don’t dream often.

But then I had a dream that I was walking and ended up at a big house with a giant porch. The porch was filled with people, and some people were smiling to tears. In any other circumstance, I would’ve found that much joy suspicious, but it was comforting and welcoming. I told myself they must be family I haven’t met yet and walked onto the porch. 

I saw my Aunty Betty Jean who had passed away in 2013. We were both extremely happy to see each other and gave what I have always described as a black hug, the kind of hug where both people rock side to side as to get all of your money’s worth out of the hug. She was introducing me to some of her friends on the porch when I noticed Deacon Houston, one of my dad’s good friends from Friendship Baptist Church, who is still alive. He was helping people onto the porch. I woke up from the dream close to 6am, still feeling uneasy, and went back to sleep.

My phone rang at 8:30am. It was the nurse at the rehabilitation center letting me know that my father had passed away in his sleep.

Fast forward to today, and I still think of the dream. My mourning and grief have been immense, but I know they would’ve been more immense if God hadn’t allowed the experience . I believe with all my heart that the reason I didn’t “feel like myself” earlier that morning was because, in the dream, I had been one with my father and had gotten to experience his transition into the spiritual world with him. His sister Betty Jean (my aunt) had died on September 23, 2013, and when she heard her little brother was coming to the house with many rooms and the big porch, she gathered her friends so there would be plenty of folks’ souls there to welcome him. Deacon Houston was doing the work of the Lord by serving and helping people make it onto the porch.

September 29, 2022: I spent the day thinking about my dad and taking a real close look at the ways I deal with grief. It’s been 2 years since he passed away, and adjusting to a world that doesn’t have my fathers physical existence has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. An interesting thing is that even if I wake up and the weather is perfect for the season, even if my brain isn’t telling me to mourn, my body is still in mourning. This is a deep sadness that makes it difficult for outside conditions and situations to change how I feel on the inside. I’m always just a triggered memory away from snapping right back to wanting to be home where I feel closest to my dad. He raised me there, and now I live in the house he raised me in. My mother; who has been my biggest supporter and encourager, came to be with me. I love it when she shares the stories about him before he was a father. She has so much confidence in the things I can achieve because she saw my dad do it first, and she knows even better than I do that I'm a copy of him.

I had a breakthrough by realizing the day my dad died was the greatest day of his life. He got to be with God, and he started his Forever That made the 2nd anniversary not so sad. I know I'll never truly be out of the woods because it's a huge loss, but, wherever I was, I'm not there anymore, and I'm able to see it from a distance. I'm in a new patch of woods, I reckon. My faith says that I'll see my dad again. My philospher's mind says that the afterlife and heaven exists outside of space and time, so there is no waiting. Because of that, I'm already there with him. My scientist mind says that because his DNA is in me, he's still here physically on the earth through me. He left a great legacy, and he equipped me to walk in it, the one. I'm sad but grateful. I'm hopeful. I'm optimistic, and I know he's waiting for me in the Forever, on the porch.

Apple Music Subscribers can listen to a tribute playlist to my dad


Apr 29, 2023

I've told you this before, so I'll write it this time.

I always read things you write while hearing your voice in my head.

Marcum, you have such a way with words. I admire the gift you share with many others like myself. Whether it's fellowship, music, writing, cooking, or just chopping it up for old times sake.... Please continue to share the many layers of you with the rest of us. We appreciate it man.

May 14, 2023
Replying to

I really appreciate that man! I'll definitely continue to share my gifts. Thank you for participating in them. One Love

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